05-04-2013, 05:28 AM
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
Day 2 - Tuesday 3/26/13
Early evening the day before Moto-Treks showed up and would be joining Airhead Bruce and I in todayís ride. He had a good time at the Jimmy Lewis weekend and said he learned a few things. He also said he spent the weekend falling in the sand. Hey I already know how to do that.
The ride plan for the day was to ride to the Racetrack via Hunter Mountain.
Yep, this should be fun.
When we turned on the road above a song from my high school days popped into my mind. I liked it when I was in school and I still find the tune cheerful and the lyrics so right on.
As I hummed ďsigns, signs, everywhere a signĒ in my helmet I also quietly giggled as I enjoyed the views that werenít blocked by signs.
The road was a fairly easy road to ride however I did find a hill climb that I screwed up on. I was slowly climbing and picking my way happily through the few obstacles until I realized about 1 second too late I wasnít giving the bike enough gas and killed the engine. Oops At least I didnít fall over. I was off the bike and trying to get it turned around when Moto-Treks came back looking for me. He passed me right after the bike died. He said as he passed me he was wondering why I stopped there then realized maybe I hadnít stopped willingly. We turned the bike around, I rode it to the bottom of the hill then back up again keeping the gas on a bit more this time.
At the top of the hill Airhead Bruce was waiting for us wonder where we were. Iím not sure what AirheadBruce and Moto-Treks are up to but they look like they are checking a map. There wasnít any roads to have to figure out which way to go so Iím guessing it wasnít a map.
We found a nice spot to have lunch before we headed down the other side of the mountain. Too bad I didnít get pictures of our lunch stop.
Down the other side of the mountain I was thrilled to see the Joshua Trees were blooming.
There were sections of the road lined with those Joshua Trees, very cool.
I found some flowers
I was happily riding Hidden Valley road enjoying all that was in view when I notice I was headed right into a silt bed.
I started talking to myself . . . . . .
"Keep weight to the back"
"Keep the throttle on"
"Look where you want to go"
Whewwww I made it though.
Oh double crap, thereís another one.
"Relax you made it through the last one fine"
"Keep the weight back"
"Breathe dang it breathe"
"Ignore the ruts"
"Keep the gas on"
"Look where you want to go"
"I said ignore the ruts!"
Big Wan, I can not lie I donít like big ruts.
Making silt my favorite - - - NOT
Yep, I hit the ruts then hit the silt. Moto-Treks was way ahead of me he rode through the silt like it wasnít there. Airhead Bruce was a bit behind me and only witnessed the aftermath. By the time he got there I was up and trying to get a few layers of silt off me. When I found myself on the ground I didnít hurt so I figured I was OK but I felt a little disoriented for a few minutes. I thought it was because my shield and glasses were covered in silt and I couldnít see. I couldnít get my helmet and glasses off fast enough.
Airhead Bruce helped me get the Superbug back upright. He noticed new scratches on the front fender then I noticed new scratches on my helmet. Since the road was silt it took me a minute to figure out where they came from then I noticed the rocks on the side of the road. I must of hit a rock or two.
As we started again I duck walked a few steps then brought my feet back up on the pegs and was relieved it was only about 100 yards and we were out of the silt. Deep breath of relief and then we headed into another silt bed. I made it about 50í feet before I crashed again. Grrrrrrrrrr this time there was no reason to crash other than I let myself get freaked out about the silt. I did more duck walking and got through it.
After that the riding was easy and the scenery was interesting.
We arrived at Teakettle Junction. This is a place I have wanted to visit for a while and I was ready with a Teakettle.
I left this Teakettle A nice little wind chime singing in the breeze. I don't know how long it will last but I left it anyway.
Superbug wanted to get in the picture.
After falling in the silt twice I was a bit apprehensive about hitting more bad roads. A few people stopped on their way back from the Racetrack so I asked how the road was. I was told by two different groups that it was fine, like a freeway although a little washboardy but not bad. OK fine, I want to keep going to the racetrack.
Airhead Bruce decided he didnít want to go to the Racetrack. He was going to head for Ubehebe_Crater and we would meet him there unless he decided to head for camp before we got there. OK Moto-Treks and I would go on to the Racetrack.
The Racetrack is another place I have wanted to see for a while I wanted to see those rocks that move across the playa on their own. The first time I was in Death Valley we tried to go to the Racetrack but were stopped by a deep sandy road. We went in a few miles from the crater side but were on bikes more suited to street riding and with street tires on. We were moving very slow and duck walking more than riding so we deiced we didnít want to do that for 20 miles to see the rocks. The road in from the crater is much different now.
We stopped where the sign is and a small parking lot.
I was excited to see the moving rocks and we headed toward the Grandstand to find the rocks. I hadnít walked on a playa before, the closed was the Bonneville Salt Flats, and I found the playa fun to walk on.
We got out to the Grandstand and walked all the way around it.
With all that walking there were no rocks to be seen. Dang. Later that evening I discovered we needed to go further south to the far end of the Playa to find the rocks. Oh well, I guess I need to go back and try again. The third timeís the charm and all that.
Since we couldnít find the moving rocks we headed for the Ubehebe_Crater
It sure was windy up there but the crater is interesting.
After checking out the crater I told Moto-Treks to go on ahead of me because he could go a lot faster than I would and I didnít want to hold him back. I took my time and enjoyed some of the magic Death Valley has to offer.
I decided to stop at Stovepipe Wells for gas but discovered their pumps werenít taking credit cards and they were very busy. I decided I had enough gas to get to camp and if I didnít I still had my spare gallon. As I was pulling away I spotted Moto-Treks enjoying an ice cream. He looks happy doesnít he?
Headed back to camp.
This guy was buzzing camp and even though he seemed to get a little too close a few times he was fun to watch.
A beautiful full Death Valley moon rose and made a perfect ending to a perfect day.
Day 3 is coming up next. . . .